Maui’s axis deer population grows to 60K, emergency relief period continues

Axis Deer. File Photo Courtesy: DLNR

Governor David Ige issued a third proclamation, establishing another emergency relief period for the axis deer crisis in Maui County.

Despite ongoing efforts, the axis deer population has grown to approximately 60,000 or more, which cannot be sustained by the environment on Maui, according to state officials.

The large number of deer has devastated pasture forage and vegetation that are already scarce because of continuing drought conditions.

State officials report that axis deer are migrating into agricultural and developed areas, seeking food and water, and potentially spreading disease in the environment. Increasing numbers are also foraging in urbanized areas.

The emergency relief period has been declared to enable the state and county to continue taking measures to reduce and control axis deer populations and to implement management strategies. This includes corralling of axis deer, culling of the deer to sustainable levels, clearing vegetation along fence lines, and erecting and/or reinforcing fence lines to keep axis deer away from roadways, airports, and runways.

The third proclamation relating to axis deer continues through Sept. 20, 2022.

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